Ott lecture will feature scientist noted for sustainability

April 5, 2022 (Volume 45, Number 15)
Article by Peg West

headshot of Anne McNeil

Anne McNeil, the Carol A. Fierke Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, will give the Ott lecture and chemistry seminar.

Photo Credit: courtesy photo

This year's Arnold C. Ott Lectureship in Chemistry will feature an award-winning scientist whose work focuses on recyclable materials, microplastics and sustainability.

Anne McNeil, currently the Carol A. Fierke Collegiate Professor of Chemistry and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, will present the public lecture and chemistry seminar as part of the lectureship.

The community lecture, "Microplastics are Here, There and Everywhere," will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Grand River Room at the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus. It is preceded by a 5 p.m. reception.

This lecture will focus on the use of microplastics in industrial and consumer products as well as research on methods for the chemical recycling of plastic waste and capturing microplastics, said Andrew Lantz, associate professor of chemistry and an event organizer.

Organizers note that microplastics have been found in remote places, such as the deepest parts of the ocean, as well as in local food, air and drinking water, making essential a goal to find methods that prevent their release into the environment.

The chemistry seminar, "Synthetic Approaches to Sustainable Materials," is set for Friday, April 15, at 1 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center's Pere Marquette Room.

Lantz said organizers encourage both the Grand Valley community and the public to take the opportunity to hear from McNeil at these events.

"Her work on recyclable materials, microplastics and sustainability connects directly to everyone’s lives and will have a significant impact on research to reduce plastic pollution in our environment," Lantz said.

The Arnold C. Ott Lectureship in Chemistry was created and endowed by a generous gift from Dr. Arnold C. Ott and Marion Ott. Dr. Ott received his Ph.D. in 1943 from Michigan State University in chemistry/physics/bacteriology and was a leading chemist and entrepreneur in West Michigan. He is one of the co-founders of Grand Valley State University and served on the GVSU Board of Trustees for 28 years.

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This article was last edited on March 31, 2022 at 2:7 p.m.

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